Beach trip

As I mentioned in my last post, we went to North Devon for the weekend. I am pleased  to report that the break had the desired effect and we all came back rejuvenated and full of energy. It helped a lot that the sun shone all weekend and that the caravan park I had chosen was just 200 yards from the beach!

We stayed in Combe Martin and spent our first day in Ilfracombe and Combe Martin itself. It is a while since I have been to this part of Devon and wondered if it would have changed much. It hadn’t. Even with Damien Hirst’s interest in the area it still felt very much a Victorian seaside resort. We did start by seeing Hirst’s Verity first (you can’t miss her, she’s 20m tall). Now, I am interested in art even if I don’t always understand it and  I know what I like, and I’m not sure about Verity. Google her and make up your own mind if you haven’t seen her before.

We went to the aquarium, ate ice cream, went to the Tunnel Beaches (Victorian beaches accessed through … a tunnel), ate fish and chips, played on the 2p machines in the arcade and ate more ice cream. The beach was windy and gave me the perfect excuse to wear my most recently finished crochet project (first seen here). Many thanks to my husband who took this picture under the strictest of instructions. Please ignore me.

crochet shrug x-stitch drops nepal

What do you think? It is a pattern I bought on Craftsy called X-stitch Shrug. I bought the pattern at the end of the summer holidays, anticipating cooler weather (which I am pleased to say, has stayed away) and decided I would use Drops Nepal (Deep Ocean) for extra warmth. It has been a start, stop project, mainly because I ran out of wool, then it was out of stock. I have certainly learnt my lesson when it comes to patterns and yardage. It would not have taken long otherwise as it is very straight forward.

Here it is hanging up.

crochet shrug x-stitch drops nepal

You will notice I have added a button to the front, which was not part of the original pattern. The shrug just didn’t suit me without it and it is so heavy (15 balls of 50g aran wool) that I didn’t want to be hoiking it up every 5 seconds. To be honest I think the shrug has had its only trip out. For me, this is a wear-at-home-snuggled-on-the-sofa sort of shrug, it is so warm and soft.

I might try a short poncho-type thing next time, although I do worry about looking like a sack of potatoes. Even when the sun is out I like to layer up. My sons were knee deep in the sea at the weekend, with nothing but t-shirts on and I was quite comfortable in jeans, long sleeves, boots and shrug!

Yesterday we stopped in at Lynton and Lynmouth, two towns connected by the most amazing cliff railway. A real feat of Victorian engineering.

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Of course, no trip to the seaside is complete without searching for sea treasure.

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Despite my improved energy levels after the weekend I am a little tired today after waking up in the middle of the night to see the supermoon lunar eclipse. I didn’t bother with photos but have been admiring some amazing ones today. Did anyone else watch it?

x

 

Hi Ho Silver!

Hooray for Fridays. We are off to the seaside later for a weekend break that I booked months ago with a view to reviving us after a month back at school. Beach walks, coastal town browsing and warm café treats. Small pleasures.

Talking of small things, my crochet this week has been very small scale and surprise, surprise…yarn-free.

crochet silver wire heart jewellery

Can you believe that this was little heart was crocheted with sterling silver wire? It’s really diddy, about the size of a penny.

I used a 2.5mm hook and 2 strands of 30 gauge wire. The silver wire isn’t cheap but it was a fun experiment and something new.

I also made this flower.

crochet silver wire flower

For the flower I followed these instructions which were very helpful. It is about 4cm in diameter.

In total I used just under 10m of wire which cost about £10. The heart is going to be added to my charm bracelet and the flower… I think I will buy a bit more silver wire and make a pair of earrings. It is a bit delicate for a pendant.

What is the strangest material that you have ever crocheted or knitted with?

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That’s better

Some of you may remember my first post about a blanket I made for a friend’s daughter. Well, to cut a long story short, I never actually gave the blanket to my friend. For one, we didn’t meet up for ages, then I moved house and then…it just didn’t feel right. Something was niggling me about the lack of border on the blanket. It just felt too plain. So I left it and continued with other projects and then finally last week I made a decision.

First of all, I decided that the blanket needed to be squared off with some half hexagons on the top and bottom (I kept the zigzag edge on the sides). I used this post to make the half hexagons.

Then I had to decide on a border. To be honest this was more trial and error than anything. I completed a few stripes first and then, in my mind I pictured pompoms on the zigzag edges. I went out and bought a tiny pompom maker, rushed home and made my first pompom. Hmmmm. To say I was unimpressed would be an understatement. My pompom certainly didn’t feel safe enough for a baby blanket and it didn’t look great either. Then I remembered seeing crocheted pompom edging. Phew! I used this tutorial by Bella Coco and after a bit of playing around with spacing this was the final result. Ta da!

solid hexagon blanket crochet flowers

What do you think?

Here are some close ups of the border.

crochet hexagon blanket border

 

crochet hexagon blanket border

It was lovely and sunny when I took these pictures. The Stylecraft Special colours are so bright and cheerful. This blanket is ready to go to its new home.

As it was sunny, I couldn’t resist taking a picture of a tablecloth that I bought at a local charity shop. Please excuse the creases.

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Whilst I was in the shop I also spied this pristine piece of 70’s history.

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I couldn’t resist!

Maybe I was indulging in a bit of retail therapy as we took our eldest son to University this weekend. I am excited for him on his new journey (Dr Seuss’s ‘Oh, the places you’ll go!’) and so proud of the young man he has become. He isn’t far away at all. I miss him heaps though.

x

 

 

Keeping busy

After the emotional rollercoaster that was last week, it was decided that this weekend would be a chilled, relaxed time with the family. No jobs, no rushing to the shops, no stressing. It was just what we all needed.

I spent Saturday afternoon in the kitchen making runner bean chutney which I can’t wait to try. The problem with making chutneys is I want to eat them straight away! This was a recipe I used years back and my husband has been asking me to make again every Autumn. He is a very patient man.

The best thing about making this chutney is that I get to use my Spong bean cutter which I inherited from my husband’s late grandmother.

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We lazed about a lot this weekend, played games and went for walks but I still managed to start a new crochet project. I have never worked with yarn this fine before (2ply) and it took a while to get used to but I love it. Full details when I actually finish it.

crochet shawl lace 2ply

This is the last week before my eldest starts university so I am going to be busy getting him ready and enjoying his company whilst I can. He might be 18 but he’s still my baby!

x

 

All change

September is definitely a month of change for us here.

The weather can’t make up its mind. Each day brings its own clothing dilemma… boots of flip flops? Jumper or t-shirt? I find myself changing outfits at least once a day!

We have been so busy with the start of the school year. My little boy has just joined reception and we have a staggered settling in period so there has been a lot of diary checking for drop off and pick up times. My eldest goes off to university in a few weeks so there will be even more change then, but I am really trying not to think too much about that now.

The new school year has brought with it some time where I find myself without children as little one goes to preschool now too. To be honest, I am not completely comfortable with it all yet. I miss my boys.

Still, I will have to get used to it and I am sure I will soon enough. On Monday, I made myself come home and sit in the garden in the sunshine rather than wandering aimlessly about the house feeling guilty about the housework that never seems to get done. Time rather to catch up on my current WIP and to enjoy working with wool for a change.

drops nepal deep ocean crochet shrug

Hopefully I will finish this project off in a week or so and I share it with you properly then.

Thank you so much for all of your lovely comments about my orange rug. It is great to have feedback about a finished project and to know that the rug made so many of you smile too!

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